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Leading Off (6/23/16)

Valley view center will officially be torn down. Dallas City Council members voted yesterday to tear down the 43-year-old Valley View Center at LBJ and Preston around the end of the year. Only the Sears store will survive. The Dallas Midtown development will be built in place of the mall, which has been struggling to survive for quite some time. Dallas Midtown will include features like a new-and-improved AMC mulitplex, a park, office buildings, a 250-room hotel, and a grocery store.

there might be a deck park above I-35E by the dallas zoo. The City Council approved a resolution that would endorse a Klyde Warren-esque deck park near the zoo as part of the Southern Gateway project. Some council members liked the idea. Carolyn King Arnold called it “lipstick on a pig.”

North texas areas to be sprayed for west nile. Mosquito traps in Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Richardson, and Lancaster tested positive for the virus. Crews plan to spray overnight Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday in Lancaster; overnight Thursday, Friday, and Sunday in Cedar Hill and Duncanville; and overnight Thursday and Friday in Richardson. Use that insect repellent, people.

Thanksgiving tower bomb threat determined to be hoax. Yesterday around 6 p.m. police and fire crews responded to a bomb threat at Thanksgiving Tower downtown. A disgruntled client on the phone with someone who worked in the building threatened to set off a bomb. The entire building was evacuated. The threat was determined to be a bluff, but it’s still being investigated.

Southbound I-35E to close Friday night. From 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday, the southbound lanes of the highway by downtown will all be closed for construction. Heavy traffic will also affect Woodall Rodgers and I-30, but drivers on I-35E will still be able to get on westbound I-30. So if you’re planning to drive through this area during that time, you’ve been warned.

Chewbacca Mom Gets an Action Figure

The Grand Prairie woman whose Facebook Live video went viral hasn’t seen the end of her 15 minutes yet. Hasbro turned her into a toy:

The figurine is all Chewbacca from the neck down, but feature’s Payne’s famously smiling face and a tiny little version of her favorite mask. A Hasbro spokesperson told CNN the talking toy is loaded with 13 quotes from Payne’s video, including a version of her laugh and the now-iconic line “I’m such a happy Chewbacca!”

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Here’s Something To Make You Feel a Little Better About the World and the People In Your City

You’ve probably seen this already on Facebook, but over the weekend DeAndre Upshaw and Stuart Hausmann’s 50-plus dancer marriage proposal video officially went international, with the UK’s Sun picking up the story, after People Magazine gushed over it. The couple met in Waco, live in Dallas, and the video was shot in Plano. And if you follow our local art and dance scene, you’ll notice the cameo by Danielle Georgiou. Georgiou’s Danielle Georgiou Dance Group helped choreographed the dance in the video.

This probably belonged in Leading Off as an antidote to the Dan Patrick item. After everything that happened this weekend, hopefully it will make you smile.

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What Could Possibly Happen at Mark Cuban’s Library Storytime Today?

This event was posted on my neighborhood’s mommy Facebook group. I sent it to Tim and Zac so one of them could write about it. Tim’s busy with  Real Housewives. No clue what Zac is doing – probably coming up with more names for his little lists – but he refuses to post about Mark Cuban’s storytime at the Audelia Road library today at 2:30pm. So it’s all up to me.

But the thing is, I’m a 35-year-old mom. You want me to write about Bieber and Gomez (he’s following her on Insta again!) or Becky with the good hair, then cool. Mark Cuban and/or sports stuff, not so much. So I’m going to crowd source this one. Anyone? What’s going to happen at Mark Cuban’s storytime this afternoon? The only bone Zac would throw me: Cuban does the entire reading from a StairMaster. Got anything better?

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The Antidote to The Real Housewives of Dallas Is in Fictional Annville, Texas

I may be a couple of weeks late to the party, but the new AMC show Preacher is spectacular. Like in a Kill Bill meets True Blood in Fargo if Fargo took place in West Texas kind of way. Granted, I may like TV more than most. And my guilty pleasure was Banshee. (I mean, a badass transvestite computer hacker taking on a fake Native American tribe and the Amish mob? What’s not to like.) But this is quality programming. And I believe I can write about it because the fictional town of Annville, Texas, where it takes place is located just west of Mineral Wells, according to Siri.

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Poll: What Should We Do With Fair Park?

This week Fair Park is celebrating its 80th anniversary. While the State Fair of Texas remains a much-beloved annual event, there have increasingly been questions about how the fair’s organization operates and whether its domination of this important public space is a net good for the city. Under consideration also is a proposal to turn over management of Fair Park to a nonprofit foundation — which in turn would ask the city to significantly increase its financial commitment.

What do you think should happen?

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The Real Housewives of Dallas Episode 8 Recap

Yesterday, to celebrate Memorial Day, I played golf. I shot a 40 on the front nine at Tenison Highlands. Pretty good little start to the day. But after that, everything went to hell. I shot a 48 on the back nine and then used a digital image of my scorecard to try to pick a Twitter fight with Ed Bark because the day previous he’d declared that Jordan Spieth had finished the Dean & DeLuca Invitational with the best three-hole stretch of his career, which was patently ridiculous. But Bark is a Marine Corps vet. I shouldn’t have been hassling him on Twitter. After my round, I went back to the house and threw out my back while cleaning my gutters. Karma. Plus, I had a reaction, I think, to all the catkins in the gutters and started feeling sick. Then, while my wife went to have dinner with a bunch of our friends, I had to stay home and watch The Real Housewives of Dallas. Episode 8 was titled “Hollman Holiday.” It did not cheer me up.

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Podcast: Author Julia Heaberlin on Black-Eyed Susans and That Time Tim Rogers Cried in Her Office

Julia Heaberlin stopped by the Old Monk this week to chat with Tim and Zac about why she left a cushy gig at the Star-Telegram to take her shot at the rich rewards of the book business. She also opens up about her brief stint as Tim’s boss and faces off against Tim in a quiz devised by Zac.

Before giving it a listen via the player below, iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcatcher, a few notes:

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Leading Off (5/24/16)

Susan Hawk in Houston indefinitely. The Dallas County District Attorney, who returned to the Menninger Clinic in Houston due to severe depression, doesn’t have a return date set yet. She was treated there last year before resuming her work in Dallas. Messina Madson, Hawk’s top prosecutor, will deal with daily office goings-on in the meantime.

Loose dogs captured in Oak Cliff. The loose dog problem continued when two dogs allegedly bit a man in east Oak Cliff yesterday morning. Police and animal control officers ended up capturing the dogs after fending the dogs off themselves.

High-speed internet coming to southern dallas. AT&T is aiming to bring high-speed internet to southern Dallas neighborhoods, which will help residents and businesses become more connected. Executives from AT&T are announcing the plan at a press conference this morning at Dallas City Hall. Mayor Rawlings says this shows that major companies are now concentrating on southern Dallas.

Dallas bachelorette JoJo Fletcher begins her journey to find love. The 25-year-old’s season premiered last night. It entailed a man riding in on a horse dressed as a unicorn, a guy wearing a kilt, another guy dressed as Santa Claus, and, obviously, alcohol-fueled antics. Good luck, JoJo.

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Byron Nelson Report: Real Housewives of Dallas Edition

For most people at the AT&T Byron Nelson, the action is on the course. But for a lucky few, the real fun happens in the homes that line the TPC Four Seasons. Saturday is always the biggest house-party day, and yesterday was no exception. The best parties are in homes that look out at holes 3, 16, and 17. This year, though, the mansion off 17 that typically hosts the tournament’s biggest bash was silent. A “for sale” sign stood out front.

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Dallas Mavericks to Enter the World of Minecraft

So says Mashable:

The Dallas Mavericks will launch Mavs World, a dedicated Minecraft hub for fans to experience American Airlines Center remade in all its blocky glory. Mavs World will include games and activities — some focused on basketball, but others will include building competitions.

To Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Mavs World is a way for fans to have fun with the Mavericks, but also inspire their love of tech.

Minecraft makes you think. You have to be creative. Logical. Fun. Those are great foundations for learning,” Cuban told Mashable. 

Mavs World will launch later this summer.

Podcast: Skip Hollandsworth, Author of The Midnight Assassin, Talks Serial Killers and Costco Jewelry

You can make an argument that Skip Hollandsworth is the all-time champ among D Magazine writers. He’s the only staffer, current or former, to have placed three bylines in our list of our 40 greatest stories ever, which we put together a couple years ago. (If you haven’t read “The Black Widow,” “Max’s Last Hurrah,” or “The Fall of the House of Von Erich,” you should.)

Hollandsworth defected to Texas Monthly in 1989 and is now one of five (!) executive editors on that magazine’s masthead. He still lives in Dallas and is the author of a well-reviewed new book called The Midnight Assassin, about the unsolved mystery of a serial killer in 19th-century Austin.

He was good enough to sit down with us at the Old Monk for a chat that spent far more time focused on the merits of Costco than I would’ve expected.

You can have a listen via the player below, or find EarBurner on iTunes, Stitcher, or through your favorite podcatcher. But first, please note:

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T.D. Jakes Aiming to Bring His New Talk Show to Dallas—Eventually

Bishop T.D. Jakes won’t be taping his new daytime talk show in Dallas, at least in the beginning. But he says he hopes to bring the production from Los Angeles to his adopted hometown eventually, just as Oprah did her top-rated, long-running talk show from Chicago. Jakes’ secular program, which is scheduled to debut this fall in cities including Dallas, Atlanta, and Cleveland, will be produced and distributed by Tegna Inc. (formerly Gannett) unit Tegna Media and feature a mix of celebrities and “regular people,” Jakes said last week at a Dallas charity event. (Specifically, it was a pre-party at somebody’s house for Friday’s Genesis Women’s Shelter luncheon and featured a performance by C&W singer LeAnn Rimes.) Jakes’ hour-long syndicated show will be aired initially in markets covering “60 percent of the country,” he added. An author, pastor, businessman, and filmmaker, Jakes founded Dallas’ Potter’s House mega-church, which claims 30,000 members. The pastor also is said to have 5 million followers on social media.

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